May 11, 2009

Lebanon Before the Collapse

Sometimes I have a bad feeling about the future of Iraq, despite the fact that Iraq is in better shape now than it was. But sometimes I don

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 10:43 PM | Permalink | Comments Off

May 10, 2009

Sorry About That

I spent the last eight days in an all-consuming workshop class about the book publishing industry

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 2:03 PM | Permalink | 10 Comments »

May 6, 2009

Afghanistan’s Only Pig Quarantined

I was going to write something serious about the H1N1 influenza virus spreading around the world, but now that it seems to be fizzling out (at least for now), I thought I'd post something light and funny instead.

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu.

The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain.

"For now the pig is under quarantine, we built it a room because of swine influenza," Aziz Gul Saqib, director of Kabul Zoo, told Reuters. "We've done this because people are worried about getting the flu."

Worldwide, more than 1,000 people have been infected with the virus, according to the World Health Organization, which also says 26 people have so far died from the strain. All but one of the deaths were in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.

There are no pig farms in Afghanistan and no direct civilian flights between Kabul and Mexico.

"We understand that, but most people don't have enough knowledge. When they see the pig in the cage they get worried and think that they could get ill," Saqib said.

The pig was a gift to the zoo from China, which itself quarantined some 70 Mexicans, 26 Canadians and four Americans in the past week...

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:42 PM | Permalink | 6 Comments »

May 4, 2009

One of Those Weeks

My next dispatch from Iraq is 90 percent finished. Unfortunately, this has turned into one of those weeks where I can't get any work done. I'm not having a bad week. I'm just extraordinarily busy on a brief out-of-town project that has nothing to do with this Web site. So I'm stalled at the moment. But I have a few things I want to post here that won't take too much time to throw together, so hang in there...

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 10:54 PM | Permalink | Comments Off
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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